01/22/2008 12:00AM

Steeplechase group to revamp

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The National Steeplechase Association plans to hire a full-time chief executive officer and restructure itself in an attempt to address complaints of two steeplechase meets that declined the organization's sanction for 2008.

According to the association's president, Francis Abbott, the group has created a search committee that will attempt to hire a full-time CEO within the next several months. In addition, the association has created a committee to discuss the concerns of the meets that will run without the association's sanction.

"We have had several discussions with the leadership of the two meets and hope to have them back on our schedule in 2009 if not this season," Abbott said.

The two meets that withdrew were Little Everglades, in Dade City, Fla., and the Queen's Cup, in Mineral Springs, N.C. According to Abbot, the two meets cited "dissatisfaction with the sport's management and direction."

The steeplechase association has four full-time staff members and is governed by 15 directors.